Shirley Jean Lewis née Bond (aka “Sassa” or “Maudie”)
March 27, 1928 ~ February 1, 2021.
Shirley had an idyllic childhood in Round Lake, NY with her sister Dottie and their baby brother Bobby (who came much later). When Shirley was 11, she and a friend hopped on their bicycles and rode to Mechanicville to see Gone with the Wind, without telling anyone where they were going. That impulsive move created ire in her father like none she had ever seen. She was severely scolded and sent to bed without supper, but Shirley claimed the crime was worth the punishment.
Like all kids in a small, close-knit community, John “Jack” Lewis was “always around.” He was socially awkward and she thought he looked a little funny with his ears sticking out, but they married in 1949. Jack became a Nuclear Research Engineer at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Shirley was a labor-and-delivery nurse at Samaritan Hospital, careers that spanned forty years.
Their only mode of transportation during the early years of their marriage was a 1946 Indian motorcycle, which they rode precariously through the hilly, snowy streets of Troy.
Later, with a family of four kids, Shirley continued to work delivering babies, while maintaining a meticulous household. The labor & delivery room was not her first choice, but she came to be passionate about it. Thousands of mothers were fortunate to have her expert guidance in birthing their babies.
Eventually, Shirley had time to take on a multitude of arts and crafts. For several years she ran a painting and ceramic studio out of their home, where she was the consummate teacher.
In their retirement years, Shirley and Jack traveled the east coast in their monstrous RV, with diminutive Shirley at the wheel. They spent several years wintering in Florida (and a total of 60 years on the mountain in Poestenkill), where Shirley learned yet another form of handicraft called Bunka, a Japanese type of intricate needlework. She crafted a trove of museum-quality pieces that have been handed down through the family.
Shirley and Jack will be remembered for their kindness and generosity toward their children, grandchildren and causes in which they believed.
Shirley Jean Lewis née Bond passed away peacefully at the home of her daughter and daughter-in-law on February 1, 2021. She is survived by her daughter Sharon Lewis (Sandi), Dorothy Keast (Don), John M. Lewis (Sue) and Polly Karis (Art); her beloved brother Robert Bond (Linda); six grandchildren, fifteen great grandchildren, and three nieces. Funeral Services with be private.
Please visit www.wynantskillfh.com
Shirley Lewis had a fierce spirit. In the face of any injustice, she was never afraid to do battle for a family member, a colleague, or a friend. She instilled in her children the importance of kindness and compassion. She instilled the love of reading, exploring, creating, and sharing.
Try standing in someone else’s shoes. Do unto others. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. These were not just spoken maxims, she modeled them.
Shirley was always on the move, always creating, always filling us up. She filled the yard with flowers, the pantry with preserves, and the closets with sewn, crocheted and knitted items. She filled her children’s imagination with other worlds drawn from books, and filled their bellies with hearty, home-cooked meals. She filled their large house on the Poestenkill escarpment with spontaneous and raucous piano music and full-throated singing. She filled new mothers’ arms with their freshly delivered babies.
She was a model of tenderness and compassion, forthrightness, and resilience until the very end.
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